CHENNAI: A youngster from Karnataka answering to the name he shares with an illustrious famous batsman from the same state made a major impression at Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday.
Like his idol Rahul Dravid the great, KL Rahul showed sound temperament and patience while compiling a century star commentators reckoned as the first of a few to come. After a forgettable Test debut in Melbourne, Rahul was in his elements, playing a classy innings to help India stay afloat. His partnership with skipper Virat Kohli was the sole highlight on the third day of the final Test.
“I am happy for Rahul. After a nervous debut, he applied himself today and got a brilliant hundred,” said former India captain K Srikkanth. This former opening partner of Sunil Gavaskar believes Rahul is a compact customer.
“What I have been impressed with is his temperament and of course technique. He looked solid. After a poor debut, he capitalised on the opportunity and got some runs against his name,” complimented Srikkanth, who had smashed 116 off 117 balls in Sydney on India’s tour of 1985-86.
Asked whether Rahul has it in him to combine well with Murali Vijay apart from having the technique to be a regular opener, Srikkanth said, “Without a sound technique he could not have made so many runs in domestic cricket. To me, at the moment his game is ideal for the longer format,” said Srikkanth, who was chairman of the national selection committee before Sandeep Patil’s panel took over in 2012.
Former India opener VB Chandrasekar, who has an ability of spotting talent and was credited for mentoring Dravid in his formative years, believes this Rahul is ideal for the job.
“Very impressed the way he got his hundred after a forgettable debut. He has all the ingredients to become an ideal opener and I believe he should be able to serve the country for a long time,” said Chandrasekar, who has also served as national selector.
Rahul’s effort has made him hot property for the TNCA senior division league. Clubs are already talking of picking him as outstation player for the season beginning in July. If things fall in place, Rahul will become one of the highest paid cricketers in Chennai league.